2023 Year in Review

2023 Year in Review

As we prepare to close out 2023, here's a look back at some of the notable events in OUTLANDER fandom over the past year. 2023 contained a few surprises for OUTLANDER fans, and we had a number of things to celebrate over the course of the year. It was a really good year for me personally, in many ways. Here are some of the highlights:

January 19 - The year started off with two big announcements! STARZ released this video from the cast, confirming that there WILL be a Season 8, but it will be the final season of OUTLANDER. Season 8 will be 10 episodes long, and filming will begin in early 2024.

OUTLANDER Blood of My Blood logo

Also on January 19 - The press release announcing that OUTLANDER will come to an end with Season 8 also contained the news that BLOOD OF MY BLOOD, the prequel TV series about Jamie Fraser's parents, has been officially "green-lit" (approved) by STARZ. From the press release:

"Outlander: Blood of My Blood is, at its heart, a love story," said Matthew B. Roberts, showrunner and executive producer. "It will explore what lengths a person will go to find love in a time when love is considered a luxury, and when marriages are made strategically, often for political or financial gain. The title is a nod to Jamie Fraser’s marriage vow to Claire and there will be several names and faces that Outlander fans will know and recognize."

BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (or BOMB, for short) will be 10 episodes long, and filming is set to begin in January 2024. For more information about this new series, look here. I'll post further updates as we learn more.

February 9 - Meanwhile, rest assured that Diana Gabaldon is busy writing! I created a list of Diana's Current and Future Projects, as a way to keep fans informed of the current status of the books she is actively working on or plans to write in the future. I hope you find it helpful! I will keep it updated as more information becomes available.

February 14 - STARZ releases the opening credit sequence for the first half of OUTLANDER Season 7. It's sung by Sinéad O'Connor. (Sadly, she passed away in July at the age of 56.)

Outlander season 7 key art

March 23 - Big news about OUTLANDER Season 7: STARZ announces that the first 8 episodes will air starting on Friday, June 16, 2023, and the remaining 8 episodes will air sometime in 2024.

The announcement of the split season caused a lot of controversy in the fandom, as everyone kept asking: Since the filming was completed months ago, why make the fans wait such a long time between the two halves of the season?? Even now, at the end of 2023, we still don't know when they will air the second half of Season 7, but I'll post here as soon as they announce the premiere date.

Julie Weathers blog

April 22 - My friend Julie Weathers interviewed me on her blog. I've known Julie on TheLitForum (and Compuserve before that) for a long time, but we'd never chatted outside the forum before. She said she wanted to know about how I got started blogging, tips for running a successful blog, and so on. But she also made it clear that she wanted to do an in-depth interview, to give people a look at who I am as a person, not just as an OUTLANDER fan or a blogger. So we sat down for what turned out to be a long and wide-ranging conversation. Check out Julie's post here.

Many thanks, Julie!! I'm just delighted with the way it came out, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it, too!


April 23-28 - Well, this one has nothing to do with OUTLANDER, but it was a big step for me personally. I went on a Road Scholar trip to Chincoteague, VA, to spend a week learning about the area around Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, and the wild ponies who live there, like the stallion shown above. This was my first experience in traveling out of state by myself (Chincoteague is about 300 miles from where I live) without a family member to help on the other end. I had a wonderful time, and I came back very excited and proud of myself for making that trip on my own. Just like Jenny in ECHO, I'm starting to travel by myself for the first time, after a lifetime spent staying mostly close to home, and it's very exciting!

OUTLANDER Season 7 key art

May 11 - STARZ releases new key art for Season 7, and the official Season 7 trailer video!

June 16 - mid-August - The first half of OUTLANDER Season 7 premieres on STARZ! As always, it was a challenge for me to keep up with the discussions on TheLitForum, but I got through it. I was relieved to see that they stuck much closer to the books in Season 7, and I hope that continues!

Many thanks to all of you who enjoyed my detailed episode recaps!

Episode 701: A Life Well Lost
Episode 702: The Happiest Place on Earth
Episode 703: Death Be Not Proud
Episode 704: A Most Uncomfortable Woman
Episode 705: Singapore
Episode 706: Where the Waters Meet
Episode 707: A Practical Guide for Time-Travelers
Episode 708: Turning Points

It takes a lot of time and effort to put those recaps together, but I think it's worth it. I will definitely be doing episode recaps for the second half of Season 7 and for Season 8 when the time comes.

Battle of Alamance historical marker

July 22 - I visited Alamance Battleground, near Burlington, NC, the site of the Battle of Alamance in 1771 that is described in Diana Gabaldon's THE FIERY CROSS. It's located only an hour from where I live, but I'd never been there before. It's a tiny little place, but they had plenty of things to appeal to OUTLANDER fans: a re-enactor giving a musket-firing demonstration, a look at 18th-century medicine, including battlefield surgery and the medical instruments used at the time, and a talk by a museum guide about the Regulator movement and the battle itself. Very interesting! You can see my photos from the visit here.

15th anniversary

August 28 - Outlandish Observations turns 15 years old!! Fifteen years....wow, that's amazing, even to me! Really hard to believe I've kept it up that long! I'm delighted, as always, to see that people are still enjoying it.

September 8 - Here's a very interesting video interview with Diana Gabaldon, posted on YouTube by Alex Banks, aka @bookswithbanks8943. It's an hour long, covering a wide range of topics, and including a few tidbits of news we hadn't heard before. Highly recommended!


September 16-17 - I had a fabulous trip to Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia! It really could not have gone any better, as far as I'm concerned. The main purpose of my trip was to attend Diana Gabaldon's appearance at the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown on September 16th, but I decided to spend the weekend in the area, to give myself time to explore the museum in detail. I love the American Revolution Museum! It's my favorite historical museum; the living history section is excellent and a lot of fun, and I hadn't been there since 2018. So I was excited to have the opportunity to go back on my own, to explore it at my own pace, with time to look at everything in as much detail as I wanted.

Diana and Karen at Yorktown 9-16-23

Of course the highlight of the event was getting to spend a few minutes chatting with Diana Gabaldon! It was wonderful to see her again! We've known each other online for more than 15 years, and we interact frequently on TheLitForum.com, her longtime online hangout, where I've been managing Diana's section of the forum since 2008. But we hadn't seen each other in person in 4 1/2 years.


What an unforgettable day that was! The next afternoon, I was exploring the art museum in Williamsburg when I heard someone call my name. It turned out to be none other than Diana Gabaldon, visiting the museum with her sister Theresa, whom I'd never met before. It was fun to chat with them for a few minutes. In all the time I've known Diana, going back to 2007, this was the first time I'd seen her in person when she wasn't in the middle of a public appearance of some kind, and it was sort of refreshing to be able to talk to her in a casual setting like that. Diana's sister was kind enough to take this photo of the two of us. I think it's terrific!

Diana and Karen in art museum

You can see my detailed account of the trip here: Part 1 and Part 2. It was the highlight of my year, no question about it, and I returned home absolutely bubbling with excitement, thrilled that everything worked out so well!

Margaret Gabaldon

September 24 - Diana Gabaldon's stepmother, Margaret, passed away. She was 86 and suffering from dementia and cancer, and had been in hospice care for some time. Diana has always talked about her as a wonderful stepmother (and step-grandmother to her kids). Her obituary is here if you're interested.

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone

September 25 - In a video interview, Diana Gabaldon announces that there will not be a mass-market (small size) paperback edition of GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE published in the US. Look here for more details. It's too bad -- I know a lot of fans were disappointed to hear this -- but Diana says the Canadian publisher intends to put out a mass-market edition sometime in 2024.

Outlander coloring book cover featuring Jamie and Claire

October 17 - The Official OUTLANDER Coloring Book Volume 2 is now available in the US and Canada! Some of you may recall that the first Official OUTLANDER Coloring Book (for adults) was released in 2015. This second volume covers DRAGONFLY IN AMBER. Look here for more information, including ordering links.

Claire in Outlander Episode 708

October 20 - In honor of Claire's birthday, I posted a brand new quote collection, titled The Resilience of Claire Fraser. This one is a bit different from the ones I've done in the past, because I decided to focus on a single aspect of her character.

In the days immediately following the horrific Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7th, I had been thinking a lot about resilience, and how people recover from traumatic events. The resilience of Diana Gabaldon's characters is one of the things I admire most about them, so I decided to explore some of the many ways in which Claire has demonstrated that quality over the course of her life. I was delighted with the positive response to this post, and I hope you enjoy it!

October 30 - My Outlandish Observations Facebook page now has more than 15,000 followers!! Wow! That's just mind-boggling to me, and deeply gratifying. Thank you all!

Sam Heughan Instagram Season 8 prep

November 30 - Production of OUTLANDER Season 8 is finally getting under way! Sam Heughan shared this image on Instagram, causing a lot of excitement among the fans. Multiple sources have reported that filming of Season 8 will start in March.

Saturn Awards

December 7 - OUTLANDER has been nominated for the 51st Annual Saturn Awards in the following categories:

"Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Television Series" - OUTLANDER
"Best Actor in a Television Series" - Sam Heughan
"Best Actress in a Television Series" - Caitriona Balfe
"Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series" - Sophie Skelton

You can see the full list of nominees here. Winners will be announced on February 4, 2024.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at 2023. Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and all the best in 2024!

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